Relax and Unwind This Weekend with These Two Simple Steps

lake-sunset-relax

Find some time to relax this weekend.

When you make the time to relax you are giving yourself a rejuvenating gift of power self-care.

And yet, this incredible gift is often very hard to come by.

Why is that?

As we finish out the month of June and start a weekend, I thought this would be a great time to talk about the importance of relaxation and share a couple of quick tips.

On her site “Too Much on Her Plate” my friend and colleague Melissa McCreery shares powerful advice for addressing the challenges faced by smart, busy women.  Some time ago she wrote a post that I bookmarked. It’s titled “The Art of Relaxation” and in it she notes the following:

…for busy women who have established a habit of juggling a lot and being “in action,” relaxing often does not come automatically. To make matters worse, many of my clients tell me they feel guilty because they have a hard time relaxing.

Does that describe you?

There are two issues here:

  • Carving out the time to relax, and then
  • Using that time in a truly relaxing way.

So, how do you move from where you are to where you’d like to be when it comes to relaxation? There are two simple steps that you can take, starting this weekend.

Two Steps to Take

The first step involves setting time boundaries.  Whether it is a week-long vacation or a 15-minute break in a busy day, carve out time for yourself. Set it apart for relaxation.

The second step involves quieting your mind and letting go of the clamor of the “shoulds” and “to do’s” (not to mention the guilt) that can swirl there for each of us.  It is helpful to expect that these distracting thoughts will rise, and to know that you can gently set them aside.  Don’t empower them.  Just recognize what is happening and let them go.

You will need to do this over and over. Compassion helps immensely here.

Over time, and with practice, these voices will quiet and you will be able to breathe and relax into your moment.

Practice is important.

Like so many other things, this is a skill that you will develop over time.  And as for the time you devote to it, it’s not the duration so much as the quality of the time that matters.  As Melissa writes:

I’ve set a goal to be more purposeful about creating more of this kind of space in my life throughout the year. I’m planning on making more retreats to the beach (in all seasons) and I’m making more space for down time in the day-to-day of my life. A few deliberate minutes every day can remind me how to really be present in my life.

Try practicing relaxation over the next two days and see how you feel.  Set aside the time and remember to call it “practice.” That helps relieve some of the pressure to get it right the first time.

Please drop me a line – I’d love to hear about your experiences.

And speaking of getting it right the first time…

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Let’s explore time together …

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